William Peace University has reached a purchase agreement for Seaboard Station, it confirmed Friday night.
In an email at 6:33 p.m., the school said it had "just signed" the agreement. The school said the purchase "is subject to court approval."
The area, which is right next to Peace in downtown Raleigh, includes thriving shops, but court filings show landlords Gregory and ParkerLLC owe more than $2 million to various creditors.
Gregory and Parker has been under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code for more than a year working on a corporate restructure plan.
Peace's interest in the property has concerned some downtown.
"This could go from what's become a very vibrant retail center in downtown to a parking lot," City Councilor Mary Ann Baldwin said. "We need apartments. We need the retail to flourish and grow."
But Peace President Debra Townsley has said neighbors' fears are just a misunderstanding. She says Peace does want to purchase the land, but wants to keep the retail space.
"Students like to have a campus where there's places to eat, places to shop," Townsley said this spring.